Holly Willoughby profusely thanked an ICU doctor during a This Morning interview about the profound new documentary 2020: The Story of Us which airs on ITV tonight.
The 40-year-old presenter fought back the tears as she heard Professor Hugh Montgomery’s poignant story about working throughout the pandemic despite dealing with his own loss and grief.
Appearing via video link on the show, the Professor said: "Yeah so it’s public knowledge that my 17-year-old son died in May, so it’s been a very difficult year for me."
With his voice breaking, the guest tried not to let the emotion overcome him as he reasoned: "But I guess 120,000 other people have lost lives and their families have also struggled so I’m not alone in this.
"And I imagine other families that have lost loved ones won’t be watching [the documentary] either for those personal reasons – it strikes home even more."
Both Holly and her co-host Phillip Schofield shared their thoughts and told the doctor they were so sorry for him.
But the mum-of-three was clearly struggling to contain her emotions as her voice wobbled and her eyes filled with tears as she attempted to console the guest.
"Thank you for being here today but more importantly thank you for all your work throughout this pandemic," she said sincerely. "For yourselves, for your teams for anyone like you that’s going in every day and risking everything.
"I think it’s the least we can do to watch this documentary tonight and if we can find it in ourselves to help put some money in to the Intensive Care Society that’s what we’re talking about, then we should," the host added.
Viewers praised the Professor Montgomery for his brave appearance on today’s show, and took to Twitter to share their support.
"Hi Hugh saw your piece on #This Morning. Agree with everything you had to say. Keep strong. The old UCH crowd and I Will buy you a pint when this is all over. Sx," one person wrote.
Another said: "Heartbreaking! That was painful to watch… I hope Prof Hugh has some time out to heal, thank you for all you do. Well done @hollywills on handling that so beautifully. #ThisMorning."
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A third wrote: "That segment was sad. I think the government are really underestimating mental health and not factoring it in enough. Professor Hugh lost his son and is still working. Professionals like him are going to be most in need of therapeutic help #ThisMorning."
While a fourth praised: "So much love and respect to Prof Hugh. Absolutely heartbreaking, thank you so much for all you have done. #ThisMorning."
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"My heart goes out to Professor Hugh. His son would be proud to have such a selfless and brave dad #ThisMorning," another viewer commented.
"Oh, Hugh What an absolutely horrendous year he’s had but despite losing his son he’s continuing to save others. Such a wonderful man who we owe a lot to. #ThisMorning," another emotional fan added.
This Morning continues weekdays at 10am, and 2020: The Story Of Us airs tonight at 9pm on ITV.
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